Why the Big Lie(s) Won’t Fly

While Montana’s Republicans seem stuck on “spin cycle” in their post-session truth-washing, the nation is being assailed by the Big Lie that the presidential election was rigged to give President Joe Biden an illegitimate victory over Frumpy Trumpy. Having grown accustomed to a virtual waterfall of lies throughout the former guy’s one term in the nation’s highest office, Republican politicians now think they can spew whatever serves their purposes and citizens will simply believe them. I guess they forgot the old adage: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

As a fellow Montanan wrote recently: “If the election was fraudulent, how could it only be fraudulent in the states he lost? How come so many Republicans won? Why have all the court challenges failed? But here’s the most glaring rebuke of Trump’s big lie: Since when have the Democrats been so united and organized they could pull this off without a micron sized piece of evidence floating to the surface?”

Tough to argue with those questions, especially when you consider Republicans won every statewide office in Montana, brought large majorities to the legislature, and gave the former guy a victory for our few electoral college votes. It’s an even better question when you consider Montana’s secretary of state, the guy in charge of elections, was a Republican.

So how is it possible that in, say, Georgia, with its Republican election officials and governor, the rascally Democrats somehow managed to rig the election results to give Biden the win? Or Arizona, where there’s an incredibly ludicrous private contractor “recount” of ballots that have already been recounted, certified and ruled fraud-free by that state’s Republican election officials? So what are these Big Lie detectives looking for? Ah yes, microscopic fibers of bamboo that might be embedded in the paper, proving that the ballots came from China!

Now certainly there may be someone, somewhere who can take such malarky at face value and believe it worth investigating. And sure enough, there is — right in Missoula, Montana — as detailed in this account by CNN:

“It appears as though this conspiracy theory comes from the mind of someone named Jovan Pulitzer, whose Twitter handle describes him as a ‘Missoula, MT Google Scholar.’ Uh huh. (Kudos to Slate for tracing the genesis of all of this.) Here’s Pulitzer explaining his bamboo theory in late 2020:

‘Now let’s say there was an influx of China ballots. China does not have the tree and lumber population we have because it got deforested primarily a long time ago. They use bamboo — and they do use wood pulps — they use bamboo in their paper and they use about 27 different mixes of grasses that we don’t have here in the United States. And even though you can’t look at it and see it, it’s very detectable.’”

While the conspiracy sleuths are looking for bamboo fibers in Arizona, a different fate awaits Liz Cheney, a hard-core Republican congresswoman from Wyoming. Because Liz won’t lie about a stolen election, she’s going to be removed from her leadership position in the House and replaced by someone who will.

Try as they may, the GOP both here and nationally seem to have forgotten that “you can’t fool all the people all of the time.” The truth, both about what happened in the legislative session and the presidential election, will eventually prevail — and the Big Lie(s) won’t fly.

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Daily Montanan, where this essay originally appeared.